Nagasaki (with a little bit of food, too)!
I’ve lived on Long Island for most of my life, and in New York for all of it. I’ve been to other places, but not really outside of America or even off the east coast for that matter. So when I first arrived in Japan, I wasn’t really aware of how much of a different lifestyle is lived here. Starting with the fact that Nagasaki’s environment is completely different from New York’s. When I left New York it was snowing. I had my winter jacket, a scarf and boots. But when I arrived I was incredibly surprised by how warm and beautiful it was. I guess you can consider Nagasaki to be a tropical environment. Its only April but I have found that the weather is usually sunny and warm, although it’s supposed to be very hot and humid during the summer.
I was absolutely exhausted from being on a plane for over fifteen hours when I first arrived. It was just after 10PM when I landed and nearly midnight by the time I arrived at the hotel. So being here didn’t really phase me until the following day, when we took a bus from Fukuoka to Nagasaki. That day was the first time that I interacted with the people in Japan. The language barrier is (and probably will be for the rest of the time I’m here) always an issue. But it’s not even just the speaking part that I found difficult, but the use of a completely different writing system (they have three different alphabets that are constantly used in signs and on menus and other things). I am constantly embarrassing myself because I don’t quite understand what people are saying to me!
Another thing. The food, obviously, is completely different here. But I don’t think anyone realizes just how different until you actually get here. Like everyone who has never been to Japan would think that our idea of sushi is what sushi really is. It’s not at all. Learned that the hard way. And I’ve found that the Japanese seem to have a strange love of mayonnaise and ketchup that I don’t think I can match to be honest. I like most of the food, but some of it I could do without. Two things that I absolutely cannot eat based on taste alone are mushrooms and fish, which for some reason seem to be included in absolutely every dish in Japan. I’m exaggerating of course, but trust me there’s a lot of these dishes here. The dorm’s food and the school’s food are okay, kind of like school food in general. But from what I can tell you about the restaurants here, the food is pretty great. I even had Champon/Chanpon (I have no idea how it’s spelled to be honest) which is a pretty big deal and had a pretty interesting history in Nagasaki. It was really good! I’ll talk about it more in a future post.
Bonus! Here are a few pictures that I did manage to take before eating.
I’ll do another post on food at some point, once I get more pictures. I don’t usually take pictures of my food before I eat it, but I guess I should start. But until then, thanks for reading!